Calhoun College to welcome a new master: Julia Adams

Yale sociology professor Julia Adams will be the next master of Calhoun College, President Peter Salovey announced.
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Julia Adams (Photo by Michael Marsland)

Yale sociology professor Julia Adams will be the next master of Calhoun College, President Peter Salovey announced.

Adams is also deputy provost for the sciences and for faculty development and diversity.

“In the past ten years, Julia has established herself as a dedicated university citizen … ,” said  Salovey in a letter to the Calhoun community announcing the appointment. “She has also developed a strong reputation for caring about students, being accessible to them, and taking time with them. Committee members describe her as ‘vibrant, approachable, and energetic.’

“One of her strengths,” he continued, “is that she understands the workings of the university from multiple perspectives. Her varied experiences — including teaching and advising students, and serving in key academic and administrative roles — make her especially suited to be a master.”

Adams is a leading historical sociologist who teaches and conducts research in the areas of state formation, social theory and knowledge, gender and family, and early modern European politics. She especially focuses on the changing historical forms of social organization, ranging from styles of political delegation in colonialism and empire, to shifting representations of academic disciplines — as in her current National Science Foundation-funded research on gender, the humanities and sciences, and Wikipedia.

She came to Yale in 2004 after having begun her career at the University of Michigan. She completed her undergraduate studies at Reed College and her graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Adams served as president of the Social Science History Association 2008-2009 and chair of the Global and Transnational section of the American Sociological Association 2012-2013.

At Yale she has chaired the Department of Sociology and directed the Division of the Social Sciences as well as the International Affairs Council and Fox Fellowship Program, both at the MacMillan Center. She is on the steering committee of CHESS (Center for Historical Enquiry & the Social Sciences).

Adams is the author of numerous publications, and her book “The Familial State: Ruling Families and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe” won the Gaddis Smith Book Prize. Her work has twice won the Barrington Moore Jr. Award for Best Article in comparative and historical sociology, given by the American Sociological Association.

She is married to Hans van Dyk, who is director of corporate and foundation relations at the College of New Rochelle, and between them they have four children: Andrew, Lydia, Cassidy, and Sebastian. “Julia and Hans love New Haven, all things New York City, and spending time in the Adirondacks,” wrote Salovey. “They also love baseball and fantasy/science fiction (guess who likes which!). And they very much look forward to being part of the Calhoun community!”

Salovey also thanked the members of the search committee for their work. Professor Robert Stepto chaired the committee, which also included Margit Dahl from Undergraduate Admissions, Professor Jim Duncan, Kevin James ’17, Erin Johnson ’08 from the Office of the Secretary, Samantha Pillsbury ’15, Sara Samuel ’15, Lily Vanderbloemen ’16, and Adam Vanvalkenburg ’16.

“I know you will join us in welcoming Julia Adams to Calhoun College,” Salovey concluded.

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